Is Carmax Putting Its Customers At Risk Of Catastrophic Injury?

A group of consumer advocacy organizations is asking serious questions relating to CarMax and its marketing strategies. Namely, the consumer groups have called out CarMax for ignoring recall issues relating to the previously owned cars it sells to consumers in New Mexico and the rest of the country. Allegedly, CarMax is touting the quality and safety of its used cars, many of which may actually have dangerous and unfixed defects, and this is putting CarMax customers at risk of suffering a catastrophic injury in an auto defect-caused accident.

The 11 consumer advocacy organizations have signed and filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission. The groups have petitioned the FTC to carry out a detailed investigation into CarMax’s allegedly dishonest sales practices. According to the groups, CarMax is not fixing — or even checking — for known defects in the used cars it sells. A spokeswoman for one of the advocacy groups said that checking that the recalled cars have been fixed should be a first step in the highly detailed quality certification process, which CarMax claims it performs on all the used cars it sells.

A U.S. Senator has also spoken out in support of the petition. The senator made statements to the effect that CarMax’s safety claims, along with its failure to fix known defects, is a bad combination. In response, a CarMax spokesperson said that it provides information to its customers so they can register their vehicles with automakers and discover if any recall applies to their vehicles. The spokesperson also said that CarMax is not allowed to fix recalled vehicles in its repair shops, but the company would be in favor of any new legislation that allows it to do so.

Whatever comes of this recently filed petition, automakers will never be able to track down and correct every single defect associated with their automobiles. Accordingly, New Mexico drivers are forced to share the roadways with these dangerous and defective cars and be at risk of getting into a defect-caused collision. In the case of a crash that involves an airbag defect, resulting injuries could include brain injury or another type of catastrophic injury. Those who are injured in such an accident, however, may have claims for restitution if they choose to pursue a personal injury action against the automaker and/or other parties responsible for the defect.

Source: The New York Times, “11 Consumer Groups Ask F.T.C. to Investigate CarMax Over Unfixed Recalled Cars“, Christopher Jensen, June 24, 2014

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